Independent candidates have done much better than the nominees of 11 political parties in the just-concluded parliamentary elections.
Some 104 independent candidates together polled 23.86 lakh votes, around four lakh more than those of 163 candidates of the 11 parties.
In terms of the total number of votes, independent candidates were in second place behind the ruling Awami League, according to the results of 139 seats.
More than 1.65 crore voters exercised their franchise in the January 5 polls, where 120 AL candidates bagged more than 1.17 crore votes.
The JP has won 33 seats, including 20 uncontested, and independent candidates 13.
Almost all the independent candidates were AL rebels. They contested the polls independently as they were denied party nominations.
Twelve parties contested the January 5 polls. They are AL, JP, Workers Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), JP (Manju), Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF), Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, Bangladesh Islami Front, Gonofront, Gonotantri Party, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish and Bangladesh National Awami Party.
Of them, JP (Manju), Bangladesh Islami Front, Gonofront, Gonotantri Party, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish and Bangladesh National Awami Party failed to win a single parliamentary seat. The JP (Manju) chief, however, was elected uncontested.
AL insiders said the 11 parties would not have obtained the votes had the ruling party not favoured them by not fielding AL nominees in some seats.
Four lawmaker aspirants of the JSD, Workers Party, and Tarikat Federation won the polls with the AL's electoral symbol “boat”. The opposition's boycott of the polls was a blessing for the four.
Other than the Jatiya Party, the polls performance of the small parties was very poor. Sixty-six JP candidates polled over 11 lakh votes, more than half of the votes obtained by the nominees of 11 parties.
The JSD, a component of the AL-led 14 party alliance, fielded 25 candidates, including one with the AL's electoral symbol. They altogether got 1.78 lakh votes. Two JSD contestants won with the party's electoral symbol, “torch.”
Another alliance component, Workers Party, got 3.56 lakh votes by fielding 20 candidates. Of them, two won with the AL's electoral symbol and two more with the party's electoral symbol “hammer.”
The 26 candidates of the JP (Manju) performed poorly, bagging only 78,665 votes. Even the newly floated BNF fared better than the JP (Manju).
The BNF fielded 22 candidates and bagged 1.09 lakh votes. Its chief won from a constituency in the capital, where JP Chairman HM Ershad had withdrawn his nomination.